Review Summary: take drugs and be cool.
Deerhunter just seem to never run out of good material. Rainwater Cassette Exchange
is another release in the wake of their phenomenal 2008 release Microcastle/Weird Era Cont.
, and consists of five outstanding tracks in the band’s remarkably addictive drugged out indie style. Although it would be appropriate to say that Deerhunter make excellent use of their shoegaze influence, the presence of the style is so subtle that it bears little resemblance to anything which would normally avert your eyes downwards. The case with Deerhunter is that one doesn’t really know whether to light a spliff and zone out or to get up and dance – both are possible.
‘Rainwater Cassette Exchange’ opens the EP with a slow moving and dreamy rendition of a humid afternoon at the beach, the pounding chorus sitting in an intricate juxtaposition with the song’s general wistfulness. This is a recurrent element in the EP and Deerhunter’s music in general – the rhythm and flow is there not only to drive the music, but to drive you to blue and yellow hills under purple skies. ‘Famous Last Words’ features a slight divergence from Deerhunter’s general drone in its cheery but at the same time eerie crescendo and climax. Cox’s ascending vocal performance as he repeats the song’s title in its build-up sits superbly with the trippy whee-whoos that back the music.
‘Game of Diamonds’ takes a languid pace in comparison to its preceding tracks, with gentle acoustic melodies splayed over light beats. The thing about Deerhunter is that in all of their releases, the ebb and flow of any particular album is consistently well thought out – the album will taper off into leisurely and somewhat lethargic tempos just when the mood is right, just when a temperate pace is needed to offset the highs that come packaged with any Deerhunter record. Rainwater Cassette Exchange
is no exception to this Deerhunter rule.
The EP’s closer ‘Circulation’ is considerably longer than the other four tracks, and finishes off the record in a relatively grand and ambitious manner. The cascading guitar line that throws open the song sets the scene – Cox takes the stand for the first half, giving nothing short of a fantastically emotive performance before the song descends into its frenzy of Deerhunter madness. All the impending melodies and sounds come together in a collusion of noise, seasoned with unintelligible samples, before allowing the song to fade into a close.
Rainwater Cassette Exchange
is nothing more than yet another amazing release by an amazing band. Despite seemingly giving their best with last year’s double album release, this subsequent aftertaste of a record is not hampered in any way. Highly recommended.